Researchers supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre have successfully completed the Next Generation Leaders Programme, a new initiative that was commissioned and designed by the BRC to enable early and mid-career researchers and health professionals to develop key skills in leadership as they take on more responsibility.
During the six month course, participants have covered topics such as healthcare leadership, the fundamentals of team dynamics, building sustainable change, mediation skills, process-based decision making, influence principles and tactics, healthcare and research finances, innovation and negotiation.
Undeterred by lockdown, the BRC held the last three sessions of the programme online and was fortunate to have three excellent speakers: Professor Helen McShane, Director of the Oxford BRC, Dr Tony Berendt, former Medical Director of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Each of them spoke about their personal journeys, what they had learned about leadership along the way and what had really made a difference to them. Helen McShane discusses these ideas further in a recent interview with Tony Berendt in BMJ Leader.
As part of the course, the participants worked together on quality improvement projects between their training sessions. The five projects covered the following topics: fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, increasing patient awareness of research activity, careers in biomedicine, occupational health at work and breastfeeding. The projects required a high level of commitment from the participants and all five groups presented their work in the final session.
Since the course concluded, ten of the participants have been given the opportunity to have additional coaching sessions, with the aim of developing their performance through guided conversation and questioning.
The BRC plans to run the course again later in 2020 and the current cohort have been invited to join as facilitators or mentors. Any researchers interested in taking part should contact Dr Karen Bell, Training and Education Project Manager.